YORKSHIRE will rest Jack Brooks during an intense week of NatWest T20 Blast cricket as they look to preserve their leading wicket-taker for the final six LV= County Championship matches of 2014.
Brooks will miss some, if not all, of the Vikings’ five NatWest Blast matches in eight days, starting with Friday’s sold-out Roses clash with Lancashire at Headingley.
The 30-year-old seamer has 42 Championship wickets to his name, more than anybody else in Division One.
But captain Andrew Gale believes Brooks is now ready for a well-earned rest after spearheading Yorkshire’s attack this season, including grabbing his 200th first-class wicket at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
He said: “Jack’s hitting a wall now. We’re probably going to leave him out of some of the Twenty20s over the next week or so.
“We’ve got maybe a ten-day break from Championship cricket with five Twenty20s, so it’s the ideal opportunity to let him put his feet up because he’s going to be a big asset for us in the second half of the year.
“We’re going to need him. You’ve seen what he can do. He’s one of those bowlers who one spell can bowl a bag of rubbish and the next he comes on and gets three wickets in an over.
“He might play every Championship game from now on. The schedule actually calms down a bit now Championship-wise.
“He probably won’t play every Twenty20 but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. It’s an ideal time to give him a rest.”
Since moving from Northamptonshire ahead of 2013, Brooks has taken 76 wickets in 21 Championship matches, including 34 from 11 last season.
With Ryan Sidebottom fit again after a hamstring injury and Tim Bresnan okay to resume playing duties following an injection on a sore elbow, Yorkshire are not short of bowling options across the next week.
Off-spinner Azeem Rafiq will also be back in T20 contention, having been left out of the Championship win over Warwickshire for Karl Carver.